Sarah Hyland Just Got 'Thin-Shamed' Again, But Won't Back Down

*Update March 15, 2018

Sarah Hyland may be all smiles as her character Haley on Modern Family, but behind the scenes, she's had a tough couple of years. Not only has she suffered from kidney dysplasia (her kidneys didn't develop correctly in the womb and eventually required a transplant), and in the public eye, but she's also been body-shamed as a result. The actress has said her condition causes weight fluctuations she has little control over, but still the Internet trolls sink their teeth in.

It needs to stop.

Last week, on the heels of Oscar weekend, Hyland received even more verbal attacks after posting a beautiful picture of herself in a strapless gown, saying she looked way "way too thin" and she should "go eat." But, she's not backing down. She posted her retaliation on Instagram (below), and when asked about why she responds to them, Hyland told People, "For me it’s just kind of like a natural reaction. And sometimes it gets too much to where I’m like, OK, I really need to make a statement right now because what is happening is not OK. And it happens all the time.”

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Hyland believes people think they're allowed to say these hurtful things because she's an actress, which somehow makes it OK, but it isn't. "People think that because you’re in the public eye you sign up for criticism from random people and strangers," she says. "But I’m in this business because I love the craft, and I love the art of it, and I love creating and evoking emotions out of people."

But don't expect her to sit back and do nothing—she she's going to hold her own. "I just treat it like if someone’s going to say a comment to me, I’m going to say a comment right back as if we’re talking to my face. You’re not behind a keyboard. You’re basically talking to me.”

Although we support and appreciate a woman who knows her worth and stands up for herself, she shouldn't have to fight these battles, let alone as often as she does. Where does it end?


*Originally Posted May 27, 2017

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The Modern Family star posted an Instagram of her in an Anti-Bullying Alliance t-shirt two days ago. Commenters were quick to criticize her weight, claiming Hyland Photoshopped the images and was promoting anorexia.

She fired back in a series of Twitter posts, explaining that she wants young girls to know that the picture is of her real arms and legs and that she is not intentionally promoting anorexia. She wanted to explain that it is her health that has affected her weight. 

“I haven’t had the greatest year. Maybe one day I’ll talk about it but for now, I’d like my privacy. I will say that this year has brought a lot of changes and with that, physical changes,” Hyland writes. "I've basically been on bed rest for the past few months, I've lost a lot of muscle mass I know that my face is swollen from medication that is saving my life."


She didn’t share what the specific health issues were. However she has previously discussed her battle with kidney dysplasia and the kidney transplant she got in 2012.

“It’s never fun to look in the mirror and see your hard work at the gym fade away or have your legs be the size of one’s arms,” she wrote. “But I know that when I get clearance I will be able to get back to the STRONG, lean, and fabulous self I know I can be.”

Although it’s clearly an upsetting experience for Hyland, she ended on a positive note, writing, “Don’t let other’s comments alter any part of you! Love and positivity is what we need most. Especially at a time like this.” 

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